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Full Name: Simon Richard Church
Born: 10 December 1988
Came from: Scunthorpe United Went to: Released
First game: 20 January 2018 Last game: 27 January 2018
Appearances: 2 (0/2) Goals: 0
The much-travelled Welsh international striker arrived during the January 2018 transfer window to bolster Argyle's attacking options, following the loans of Alex Fletcher to Torquay and Nathan Blissett to Macclesfield, and the termination of Nadir Ciftci's loan to allow him to join Motherwell.
Born in Amersham, Church began his youth career at Wycombe Wanderers' centre of excellence at the age of nine, before then moving to Reading. He went on to spend ten years at the Madejski Stadium, signing his first professional contract in July 2007. In all, he scored 24 goals in 122 appearances for the Royals, including an important role in the club's 2011-12 Championship-winning season.
Church enjoyed several loan spells during his time in Berkshire, including time at Crewe Alexandra in 2007-08 (14 apps, 1 goal), Yeovil Town in 2008 (6 apps, 0 goals), back at Wycombe in 2008 (9 apps, 0 goals), Leyton Orient in 2009 (13 apps, 4 goals) and Huddersfield Town in 2012 (7 apps, 1 goal).
In August 2013 he joined Charlton on a two-year contract, playing 63 times and scoring 10 goals across two seasons in the Addicks' spell in the Championship.
He then moved to second tier rivals MK Dons, scoring 3 times in 23 games during the 2015-16 season. His spell in Buckinghamshire also saw him loaned to Aberdeen, where he netted 6 goals in 13 matches in that season's Scottish Premiership.
After leaving MK Dons he tried his luck abroad and in August 2016 joined Dutch Eredivisie side Roda JC Kerkrade on a one-year deal, but his spell was troubled by injury and he made only four appearances without scoring.
Without a club in the summer of 2017, Church trained at Home Park for a few days in early October 2017 but elected to sign for League One rivals Scunthorpe United on a short-term deal until January 2018. He started just once in his 7 appearances for the Iron, without scoring, and having fallen down the pecking order, elected not to take up the offer of a new contract and instead signed for Derek Adams at the second time of asking, despite being linked with Polish side Lechia Gdnask where the Wales national side's fitness coach, Adam Owen, was manager.
Church was an established Welsh international, qualifying through grandparents born in Newport. He made his debut for the Wales under-21 team as a substitute in a 4–3 win over Sweden in August 2007, and in total won 15 caps and scored 8 times for the under-21 side. In May 2009 he made his debut for the senior international team in a friendly against Estonia, and scored his first senior goal in November of that year in a friendly against Scotland. By January 2018 he had won 38 full Wales caps and scored 5 times, including two appearances at Euro 2016, notably as a substitute for the last 27 minutes of Wales' heartbreaking semi-final defeat by Portugal, alongside former Pilgrim loanee James Chester.
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APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
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